Category Archives: Exodus

The Shed Blood

The Shed Blood: the Firstborn, the Bondservant and Me

Before Egypt’s flight, blood placed on door post and lintel
Flowed from sacrifice of a perfect lamb. 
From the Death Angel the blood purchased Firstborn’s life —
Who with his family passed through that blood-marked portal
To begin freedom’s march to the promised land. 

Did Firstborn pause to consider
At what cost the blood was shed?

Two servants stand at the Master’s door
Each for six years has passed through in bondage.
Soon one will step over that threshold “free.”
The other chooses to remain at the Master’s side—
The portal marked with the blood of his decision.

The bondservant he would be called
His shed blood forever closing “freedom’s” door.

So, now do I too who walk with blood-bought freedom
Grasp that I walk so without cost?
That the blood through which I passed to life
Was the shed sacrifice of that Sinless Man?
Is there a choice which can be made?

Yes, there is a response which I can make—
The shed blood from my pierced ear.

The world’s “freedom” is not my choice.
True freedom leads me to the Master’s side,
There to remain—back turned to Babylon’s cry.
The bondservant’s life knows no greater freedom—
My ear’s blood on His door will forever testify. 

Kennedy Brown, August 22, 2017

Motivation for poem—
The theme of shed blood is common to three experiences of our faith: the Exodus from Egypt; the law of the bondservant and the sacrifice of Messiah Yeshua.

Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17, the Torah Parsha (portion) called Re’eh, speaks of the servant who prefers to remain with the master after his six years of service entitle him to a release from slavery to freedom—to become a bondservant. Perhaps he did not consider his six years of service as bondage. The procedure for establishing a bondservant as set forth in Deuteronomy is a restatement of the procedure first set forth in Ex 21:5-6. The procedure results in the servant placing an ear sgainst the Master’s door or doorpost where the ear is pierced. The blood from the piercing remaining as a reminder of the servant’s commitment.

This fact recalled to me the preparation for the final plague in the exodus account. There the blood from the sacrificed lamb was placed on the door post and lintel (Ex 12:5-7), its purpose to exempt the Firstborn from the Death Angel.

The next logical connection was the shed blood of the Lamb of God, Messiah Yeshua. His shed blood did not exempt Him from death, but evidenced Him as bondservant.

Drawing a poetic parallel was easy, Yeshua’s apostles often refer to themselves as bondservants. Should I do any less?

Shed Blood and the Master’s Side

Before Egypt’s flight, blood placed on door post and lintel
Flowed from sacrifice of a perfect lamb. 
From the Death Angel the blood purchased Firstborn’s life —
Who with his family passed through that blood-marked portal
To begin freedom’s march to the promised land. 

Did Firstborn pause to consider
At what cost the blood was shed?

Two servants stand at the Master’s door
Each for six years has passed through in bondage.
Soon one will step over that threshold “free.”
The other chooses to remain at the Master’s side—
The portal marked with the blood of his decision.

The bondservant he would be called
His shed blood forever closing “freedom’s” door.

The Firstborn and Freedman each seek Freedom.
In that struggle of life their strength will fail.
Firstborn will remember the shed blood that set him free.
Freedman will recall the shed blood on the Master’s door.
The same Author of each choice reaches out with open arms.

Firstborn and Freedman now hear true Freedom’s call—
Shedding blood from a pierced ear to gain Master’s embrace.

Man will never know true freedom away from the Master’s side.

Kennedy Brown, August 27, 2017

Motivation for poem—
Did you ever read the books popular in the 1980s where you could choose different paths offered by the author? You would wind up at different conclusions. They were the Choice Adventure series.

This poem is not the reader’s choice, but the author’s choice. I took the first four stanzas of the poem Shed Blood: the Firstborn; the Bondservant and Me and provided a different progression of the premise.

Both poems conclude there is no relationship that will satisfy apart from a bondservant relationship with the Master. This poem points out the illusion most of us had that we were the captains of our destiny. As I found in my personal experience, doing it in my strength was destined to fail. I also experienced the open arms of the Prodigal’s father receiving him (me) back.

The Cloud, the Glory and the Poet

A quandary of majesty from Parsha P’kudei

Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Exodus 40:34-35 italics mine

The word “glory” seems so inadequate to explain that daunting, manifested presence of Yahweh into which Moses could not enter.

The Cloud, the Glory and the Poet
When a word fails to adequately convey

As o’er Sinai’s mount by cloud revealed,
You in affirmation the tabernacle sealed.
But twas not the vision of cloud alone
That made so clear Your presence known.

Moses, a proven, mighty man of God,
Could not enter, where before he had trod.
A force unseen−like a mighty gate
Did mysteriously, majestically operate.

What appropriate word can English give
So that this experience one might relive?
“Glory”—the word translators confidently say
Does that rapturous moment of time convey.

Kabowd” is the word in Hebrew we are told.
Yet that too is lacking in descriptive gold.
To the poet there is simply not one word;
Something much deeper must be stirred.

A force so tangible, yet wholly unseen,
Speaks of forces far, far from routine.
Such a force field we’ve yet to discover−
A secret not given man’s mind to uncover.

Where then does the poet need to turn−
From what source can he possibly learn?
There is but one connection to be found:
Ascend with spirit to that heavenly ground.

There in His presence is tangibly met
The Author of that invisible silhouette.
There, words still lacking the poet’s pen,
Will call him back again and again.

A Lament for Bezalel

A Lament for Bezalel, Chosen of Yahweh
Parshat Vayakhel, especially Exodus 35:30-35

Bezalel, O Bezalel, you by Yahweh commended
To craft the work of His own designation−
Chosen alone from all the Hebrew nation
Upon whom the Spirit of God descended.

That you were a young man, it is surmised,
Yet with the engraver’s eye and jeweler’s skill
You wrought wonders−the tabernacle to fill.
Everyone except Yahweh was surprised.

Bezalel, anointed by Yahweh in Sinai land,
Tell us, now, what is your great reward?
You surely fell as though slain by sword;
Your bones remain in the desert’s sand.

Was it the spies’ report with which you agreed−
Or your lust for a Midianite maiden fair?
What fatal sin will your eternal records bare?
Was there not a lesson Yahweh’s children need?

A lament, O Bezalel, I now humbly offer:
Though my giftings flow from God’s own hand,
I too may find my bones in desert sand.
“Run the race to win”−that my reward not suffer.

Kennedy Brown
Gerizim
Erev Shabbat, March 4, 2016

While reading the Torah portion, Vayakhel, I was impressed with all the favor of Yahweh that resulted in Bezalel being called and equipped for construction of the tabernacle. Aleph Beta makes it even more impressive in that the past tense is used in describing Bezalel’s preparation as being from the “days of Creation.”

But then the reality hit me that Bezalel did not go into the promised land. He died with his generation in the desert wilderness. That is what can tritely be called a “sobering experience!” One which could call for some sober introspection.

I trust the “lament” somewhat captures this reality.

The Purpose of Showbread

The Purpose of Showbread
The “face of His presence”

Exodus 25:30 (Parsha Terumah)
And you shall set the showbread on the table before Me always.

The Torah sets forth in detail the construction of the table the showbread is placed upon in the holy place of the tabernacle. However, we are told little about its purpose, preparation or maintenance. It would seem Yahweh gave us up until 70AD to start thinking outside the “box” of the stone and mortar Temple. I had some metaphorical thoughts on the subject. Let me share them with you.

For whose benefit is the showbread? The best translation I could find says the bread is the “face of His presence.” I do not think then that it is an “offering” for Yahweh, He knows who He is and needs no reminder. It must be for the benefit of His children with whom he chose to dwell in their midst in the tabernacle. It is necessary to see the tabernacle in terms of our relationship with Yeshua−we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. (ICor 6:19) Yahweh come in the flesh is the bread of life. Even though He resided above the Mercy Seat inside the Most Holy place−He wanted it understood He is ever present outside the Most Holy place−in effect saying He is our Daily Bread. We, as priests, through faith in the work of Yeshua (Rev 1:5-6), are to maintain His presence−His face before us always.

He provides all the tools (pans, pitchers, dishes Ex 25:29) needed to prepare and keep His presence before us−it is our duty to provide the fresh ingredients for the preparation. It’s like an offering of ourselves to maintain His presence as vital, fresh and visible. It is in effect the exercise of our will that keeps His face before us.

Some commentaries suggest the bread was made of corn. I’m inclined to think, metaphorically, we’re to prepare it from the best grain that’s in season−from the best we have available to us.

How often is the bread made? The Torah doesn’t say. The rabbinical rules said weekly. My thinking is we look at our heart and whenever a fresh reminder of His presence is needed we make a new, fresh loaf. In some situations of stress or temptation it may be many times a day. How fresh we keep his “face” before us is our decision. But His presence is ALWAYS to be visible, vibrant and verifiable.

Kennedy Brown
Gerizim
February 9, 2016

A Psalm’s Call to Embrace Yahweh’s Word

A Psalm’s Call to Embrace Yahweh’s Word
Prompted by Exodus 21:1-24:18–Parshat Mishpatim (Laws)

Yahweh, why are we so bent
On overlooking Your intent?
Your mishpatim first powerfully spoken
Are today disdained and recklessly broken.

Some thirty-five hundred years ago
Your radical words set the world aglow.
They became the foundation of Common Law
From which all Englishman sought to draw.

Most every statute on the books can trace
Its evolution to Mt. Sinai’s time and place.
But as Yeshua said, “Look to more than form−
“Let your spirit see the ‘Yahweh norm.’ ”

Master and servant rules still apply
To every worker under our sky−
The tools supplied by the Master remain
When the worker departs, not returning again.

Sorry to report, though, today, dear Father,
Six years of service seems of little bother.
Your Laws, which perhaps appear arcane,
Should be considered and honored again.

If the heart of each commandment we would embrace
Our old earth might well be a heavenly place.
Stir us, move us, our spirits engage
That again we devour your every page.

Kennedy Brown
Gerizim
Sabbath, February 6, 2016

For many years I walked with little regard for the instruction and commandments of Torah. Even having a knowledge of the scriptural genesis of U.S. and U.K. laws I could not appreciate the wisdom recorded under Yahweh’s unction by Moses those 3500 years ago. How many times did I interpret Yeshua’s extension of a Torah principle as a rejection of Torah rather than setting a tone for understanding and applying the Law. “Father, forgive me.” From a purely selfish standpoint I had been denying myself the counsel of Yahweh by which to conduct all of life’s relationships.

Forced by the constraints of the poetic form I have chosen I could not in this psalm fully develop today’s laws of master-servant relationship. The spirit of these laws is drawn from Torah. Judicially established over centuries as the Common Law of England and the United States, they have eventually been, in most cases, codified. Interestingly Common Law still applies where there is no statute covering a particular legal question,

I have very loosely described the law expressed in Exodus 21:1-6 concerning the Hebrew servant. The rule today states that the tools provided an employee do not become his when he leaves his employment. The Torah principle, however, is much more generous in recognizing six years of faithful service than are any of today’s employers that I know (including my own many years in that capacity)

My earnest endeavor is to have a heart understanding of the application of Torah principles in everyday relationships.